We love supercharged trucks. So we went to two of the biggest names in automotive performance to borrow a couple of powerful pickups. Roush Performance and Saleen. Jack Roush and Steve Saleen hitched their fortunes to the Ford brand more than 20 years ago, launching companies that have brought racing and rabble-rousing to Ford enthusiasts everywhere. Both have been involved in various forms of auto racing since the '70s, and have branched out into OE product development and the transformation of daily driver automobiles into street racers.
One of Roush's companies, Roush Performance, markets the good stuff- such as supercharged Ford F-150s and Mustangs, and a suped-up Focus-to go-fast enthusiasts like you and us. Roush Performance has just started to share the adrenaline by offering powertrain upgrades for GM vehicles and will soon go after Dodge and Chrysler customers, as well.
Saleen, the company, channeled Carroll Shelby and started by building the very fast Mustang S351 and lower-costing Mustang S281. Eventually, the company produced a performance version of the Explorer, as the XP8, and a much faster Mustang, SR version, before plunging into the development of the first Saleen model developed in-house from the ground up: the mid-engine super-car S7. The company now builds various forms of the Mustang, the S7, its first in-house developed mid-engine supercar, and the S331 SC-Saleen's first truck, which was based on the F-150.
We spent some time with Saleen's pickup truck. Saleen was in-corporated as a manufacturer at its inception. Rather than offering upgrades that allow vehicles to be upfitted at a dealer, for example, the company builds its vehicles from scratch. In so much as scratch means to heavily modify a Ford F-150 FX2 Sport in the company's plant in Troy, Michigan. Most of the company's other vehicles are built in Irvine, California. The company's OE mindset could be why the truck looks so well integrated as a package: the sweep of the sideskirts, recessed and functional hoodscoop, assertive horizontal upper grille and mesh lower grille, black trim that breaks up the expanse of the F-150 tailgate, Saleen badging, dual-flush exhaust exiting from each side of the truck, and luscious Speedlab Yellow paint. The truck retains all of the signature Saleen serial numbering-ours was truck 03-windshield banners, and so on. The S331 SC turned heads and sparked spontaneous and surprisingly long conversations in parking lots with passersby who were surprised to see a Saleen truck.